Housing affordability remains a hot button issue across the nation, and rightfully so. It’s a significant concern for a growing number of West Australians, particularly those on low and very low incomes, many of them facing the prospect of never being able to afford a home of their own.
Housing affordability has improved in WA
Despite this growing issue, house prices in WA have become more affordable over the last couple of years and have not increased at the rate they have in other states over the past decade. For example, Perth’s median house price for the year to June 2017 was $520,000, which is only approximately $60,000 more than it was at the same time in 2007.
By comparison, the Sydney housing market has seen its median house price increase by a staggering $600,000 over this same period, making it substantially more difficult for first home owners to enter that market market.
We are fortunate the dream of home ownership is still very much attainable in Western Australia. In fact, REIWA analysis shows it’s more financially attainable to be a home owner in 2017 than it was in 2007, with West Australians now spending a smaller percentage of their total income on mortgage repayments than they did a decade ago.
Specifically, home owners were spending approximately 56 per cent of their total income on mortgage repayments in 2007, whereas today that figure has reduced to 27 per cent. This improvement in affordability for WA home owners can largely be attributed to average income levels having increased since 2007. At the same time interest rates have gone down and house prices have remained relatively on par.
Perth property market appears to have stabilised
Home buyers remain in a strong position in Perth, but the signs do indicate the local property market has stablised.
Since July 2017, reiwa.com’s monthly data has revealed steady figures across a number of key indicators, such as median house price, median rent price and listings for sale and for rent. Historically, one of the strongest indicators a property market may be on the cusp of ‘turning’ is a period of stability.
Now is the time to buy
If you’ve been holding off making a property purchase because you’re waiting for the ‘bottom’ of the market to buy at the lowest possible price, I’d advise you to take action sooner rather than later. We don’t usually have the luxury of calling the ‘bottom’ of the market until we have the benefit of hindsight; meaning, we’re not certain the market has turned until it’s on the way back up.
With improved house prices, record low interest rates and a healthy supply of stock to choose from, now is the time to take advantage of Perth’s favourable buying conditions.